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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
News and Updates. Updates on Thursday. (Usually...sometimes.)
August 27, 2020
We're still getting out, but with limited time, our outings are rare and usually on very short notice. Our short notice is usually within an hour of knowing we have a few hours to spare. Too short of a notice to organize anything for the group.
If any of you are still braving this heat, getting out, and want company, feel free to send details to me. I probably won't be able to join, but everyone can still meet up without me.
I'm still not sure if we can arrange our annual cookout. What we usually do is meet up early and plan for lunch. If and by the time we can start to narrow a date, it should be cool enough at nights for a fire. What do you guys think about meeting up a little later and planning a dinner instead?
July 30, 2020
Just wanted to post something up and let everyone know we're still around. I've been keeping up with many of you and we're all doing mostly the same thing. Either working or quarantine and avoiding this heat. The few times we've been out has been early shooting or high in elevation.
We still have no events currently planned. I'll be sure to post up details if we're working on anything. In the meantime, you all be safe.
June 11, 2020
Pictures from Saturdays event in Sandy Valley, Nevada are now up. After these last few months, I think everyone needed some mountain time. It was great to see everyone again and to meet more new people.
We currently have no upcoming events scheduled, but check back for short notice announcements.
June 4, 2020
As announced earlier in the week, we are meeting as a group and headed to Sandy Valley, NV this coming Saturday. Details for that event are here.
If you plan on attending, please send me an email for an accurate count. If you've already confirmed you'll be attending and will not for any reason, please send me an email so I can amend the count and so we won't needlessly wait for your arrival.
List of items you'll need:
Lunch, snacks, drinks
Toiletries and medications
Communications radio (limited amount available for loan)
Stop for gas before meeting
If you're a shooter, make sure you bring eye and ear protection
As always, attending this and any site group event is with the understanding, agreement, and acceptance of the event liability and waivers. If you've never read them or it's been a while, please read and review. All in attendance must verbally agree to the listed terms of liability and waivers.
June 1, 2020
Sorry for the short notice, but we are finalizing plans for an event this coming Saturday June 6, 2020. This event will take us to Devil's Peak just north of Sandy Valley, Nevada. If you'd like to join us, please confirm by email.
A first time visitor may need a ride for this one. If anyone would like to donate a seat for the day. Please, send me an email and you two can make arrangements. Thanks, in advance.
May 21, 2020
Really sorry for not updating the site in a while. I already knew this was going to be a busy year for me but, with the whole world getting sick, I've been putting in some longer days and nights. I haven't had much free time and what little free time I do have is being spent recovering and preparing for the next long day.
It's been a while, so here are the places we've been since the last real update. New images have been added to the following galleries:
Kirby Mine: We were made aware of a gated mine hidden just off one of the Kirby washes and not visible from the trail. After so many years of visiting mines, they started to look the same many years ago. After searching through our old image records, we realized we'd already been in the mine, but it wasn't gated back in 2015.
Like so many others, gating this mine was a head scratcher. It was well hidden, only went back maybe 30 yards, was featureless, and had no fall hazards. Meanwhile, the larger Kirby Mine is in plain view directly on the main trail, has several hundred yards of adits (horizontal passage), and remains wide open and unlocked.
Houghton Mine: Yet another head scratching mystery. This mine had a short 20 foot adit leading to a small open stope (After a large ore body is removed, the empty space is called a "Stope". If that stope breaks through to the surface, it becomes an "Open Stope".). Portals (horizontal mine entrance) within that open stope were already sealed using a backfill, foam, and rock stack method over a decade ago.
A bat gate was used to secure the portal leading to the open stope, allowing access for wildlife. Someone made a decision to seal an already sealed mine with a bat gate. So, a bat can fly past the bat gate, into the open stope, but still can't enter the mine because it was already sealed. Walk to the left or right of the bat gate about 25 feet and you'll see the open stope is still wide open.
We were thinking of arranging a trail run sometime, but couldn't clear or confirm a schedule. That idea is still an option, but we'll be traveling shortly and will need to work around that. If anyone would like to suggest a trail, feel free to send it to my email. If there's a previous trail you enjoyed and would like to run it again, I'm mostly in for the company anyway. I'll try to keep everyone updated. Announcements will be on the front page and a link to details will be here when we're starting to finalize a date.
Hopefully, you're all well and not too bored. If anyone needs assistance with food, supplies, or anything else, feel free to ask. It's ok to need help once in a while and we can provide that help privately.
April 9, 2020
My apologies for not keeping up with the site lately. As we're all experiencing, these are strange days and we're all either super busy or super bored. If any of you need anything, please ask. I'm sure there would be a group effort to get you anything you need. Hopefully, you're all safe and healthy.
A friend of the site asked me to share a few words. Currently, our outlying public lands will remain open and there are no plans to close them. The following parks and lands have been closed and will remain closed indefinitely.
Within the Vegas Valley, all parks, playgrounds, and restrooms
Lake Mead National Recreation Center
Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive and Visitor Center
Death Valley National Park
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Desert National Wildlife Refuge
Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
All trailheads along SR159 between Calico Basin and Blue Diamond Rd.
Sloan Canyon parking area and visitor contact station
Red Rock Overlook and picnic area
Late Night Trailhead parking lot
Red Spring picnic area and boardwalk
All campsites and facilities at the Red Rock Campground
Calico Basin and Kraft Mountain Trailheads
Also, keep in mind that outdoor target shooting anywhere within the Las Vegas Valley is illegal. You can't pull over on the side of a road or empty lot and just start shooting. If you need to be told that bit of information, just bring your guns to any Metro Police station and tell them you're too stupid to own a gun.
March 4, 2020
We were having an email server issue that began sometime March 2nd or 3rd. That issue has since been resolved, but some emails sent during that period were either not received or received, but empty. If you sent an email, but did not receive a response, please resend.
February 22, 2020
Sorry about this, but Sunday the 23rd has been cancelled. I've been working swing shifts over the weekend. My plan was to work Saturday night until around midnight and be back at work around 3PM on Sunday. That won't leave me enough time to rest and recover. It was a bad idea from the start.
February 21, 2020
There's a very good chance the day out this coming Sunday isn't going to happen.
February 19, 2020
Maybe something happening this coming Sunday the 23rd. Not going to make other announcements in case plans fall through, which is a great possibility. This may be a last minute day. If we can make the schedule work, it'll just be another winging it day. If you haven't been to one of these winging it days, it usually means we meet up at a scheduled time and place, decide on a general direction and just wander from place to place. Somewhere along the way, we stop, have lunch, and shoot stuff. If that sounds like a fun day to you, send me an email.
January 16, 2020
Still here. Just nothing new to mention.
January 2, 2020
New images from our "winging it" and shooting day in Goodsprings, Nevada are now up. Apologies to those who missed this one, but it was a very short planned event. It was only announced a couple days before and, other than Goodsprings, we didn't know where or what we would be doing.
Because events in 2020 will be difficult to plan well in advance, expect upcoming events to be announced with the same short notice. I imagine some will be announced with just a days notice. I think our most likely event days will be Friday evening or Saturday morning into afternoon. I try to update the site each Thursday, so your best chances of catching the short notice is to check just before the weekend.
I was just looking at the site design and remembered there's that "New Category Coming Someday" link to nowhere on the front page. I should probably put something there since it's been like that for almost two years. I think it's safe to say most come here for the pictures. With that in mind, I was thinking of adding a member picture page.
You don't have to add any detailed write-ups and they don't even have to be anything specific to the site topic. All that is required is that you own the pictures or have permission to share them. Each person would have their own picture page with any information they want to include. If you have pictures you want to share, just send them over with any brief description you'd like to include.
Happy New Year, everyone!
December 26, 2019
My apologies for the short notice, but we'll be getting out this coming Saturday the 28th. I have to work a few hours in the morning, but should be free around or after 10AM. This isn't an organized event. We won't know where we're going until we get together and come up with a plan. Since it's such short notice, I expect we would be somewhere local in or around Goodsprings. If you'd like to join us, send me an email or text for details. Bring lunch and guns.
December 19, 2019
These last few years, I've been posting up all major event dates for the upcoming year. Just last week, I mentioned I would attempt to do the same. We've come across a "good news/bad news" situation and it's not looking good for 2020 events.
If we've personally met and you want to know the good news, feel free to ask. Bad news is that the good news will likely require us to travel out of state for a month or more. All of my vacation time will be used during that period and there won't be any extra days to plan more day trip events. I may be able to find some spare time throughout the year here and there, but if I do it'll very likely be short notice.
We still plan on having our annual cookout and we'll scatter in some Friday night events throughout the year. There's a chance we'll be doing something next Friday night on the 27th. No idea what yet, but it'll either be a night trail run, evening mineral hunt, hanging out around a fire, or a combination of some or all.
Sorry about not being as available, everyone. I was already making requests for time off every two months for the 2020 events, but this current situation is unavoidable. I'll offer more information as it becomes available.
December 12, 2019
Sorry for the lack of updates again. We've been traveling out of state and now that we're home, I'm not feeling well.
We currently have no scheduled events, but we may try to fit in one more "wing it" day before Christmas. Probably just a day of wandering and shooting. I'm also trying to get all of my 2020 days off pre-approved and will get those days posted up as soon as they are confirmed.
No destinations are confirmed, so if you'd like to revisit an area or suggest something new, please send it my way.
November 21, 2019
We held another evening campfire social event this past Friday. Thanks to all who chose to join us after their work week. Images for that event are now up.
A few days later, we held another short notice event to Shadow Mountain which is south of Sandy Valley, NV and in San Bernardino County, California. This isn't a place we've been to before and because of the remote area, not a place we would have wanted to explore alone. Only one mine along our route remained open, but without a safe rope anchor point and limited daylight, we moved on to the next waypoint. Unless I can locate an interior map to that mine that shows significant depth, I don't think we'll have a reason to return. Images for that day are also now up.
There are no further scheduled events for 2019, but there may be another short notice evening event closer to Christmas. If you don't check your email often and would like to know about these short notice events, make sure I have your cell phone number and you can receive texts. I'm also working on scheduling all major 2020 events in advance and will post up dates as soon as I have them. Destinations are yet to be determined. If you'd like to suggest a new area or a return to a previous location, feel free to send me an email.
November 14, 2019
Tomorrow (Friday) night is the scheduled evening social in the mountains just south of town. Details and directions are here. We're not expecting a large group, so feel free to invite a friend or two. Other than very short notice trips, this will likely be our last event of the year. We hope to see you there.
November 7, 2019
Because of a scheduling conflict, the evening event scheduled for Friday the 8th has been changed to Friday the 15th. I think I emailed everyone who has attended a recent event, so hopefully nobody will show up tomorrow night. Maybe you like the mountains alone at night. In that case, go have a great time. The rest of us will plan on being there the night of the 15th.
October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween, everyone! Our Halloween will be just like any other. Lights out and getting annoyed that kids these days don't understand that lights out means not to bother me.
We have another evening social planned in a couple of weeks on Friday November 8, 2019. It's just another opportunity to start a fire and hang out with good people. If you have nothing better to do after work that day, I hope you'll join us.
October 24, 2019
Images from Saturdays annual cookout are now up. We have out of town company here for the week and have been/are busy, so other than the new picture gallery, not much of an update.
No date has been set, but we'll be planning another evening social event somewhere in the mountains probably next month. A link to details will be on the main page when those details become available.
October 17, 2019
Last call for our annual cookout this coming Saturday October 19, 2019. As with most of these events, we have no idea how many people will show up until the day of the event. We're not expecting a large group. I would guess about a dozen of the regulars. If you've never attended an event and just feel like meeting some new people, everyone is welcome to attend.
This is our last scheduled event for the year, but I think we may have a couple more short notice or evening socials. We'll try to give as much notice as possible, but the short notice events are usually with little to no lead time, so check back often.
See you all this weekend.
October 3, 2019
New images have been added to the Taylor Mine gallery in the Ivanpah, California directory. Within the past few years, there have been confirmed mountain lion sightings in nearby valleys and washes. While usually timid and solitary, they should be considered dangerous.
Since the first documented North American mountain lion attack in 1890 and the last in September 2018, there have been 125 encounters. 27 of which were fatal. Of those 98 survivors, 51 ran and 47 stood their ground. Most experts say to stand your ground and face the mountain lion if encountered. The data shows your input is mostly irrelevant. If the mountain lion feels like chewing on you, it will.
If you're in that area, it's best not to travel alone and keep children and small pets close.
Our annual cookout is almost here. Really looking forward to seeing everyone again. That's Saturday October 19, 2019 in the mountains just west of town. Details are in the link.
September 26, 2019
New images have been added to the Addison Mine Gallery and the Milford Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. The last time we were in those mines was as a group in January of 2017. Other than some new vandalism, the exteriors are exactly how we left it. There were some large cracks along fault lines and floor debris, but we can't be certain they weren't already there. The bat gates are still locked and getting into these takes some effort, so I don't think a warning is needed.
We didn't have any reason, other than the sake of exploration, to be in there. We were just in the area collecting rocks and had some time to fill. With the weather cooling nicely, we just weren't ready to go home yet.
We have our annual cookout coming in just a few weeks. As with most of these events, only a few people have confirmed, so we probably won't know any real numbers until the day arrives. That day is still Saturday October 19, 2019. See you all there!
September 19, 2019
Been traveling out of town and out of state recently, so I don't have anything locally related to share..
I received an email from someone recently asking if I could be their radio backup when they are in the mountains and desert. If you've attended previous events and we personally know each other, I don't mind helping or relaying information if needed.
If I don't know you and you would still like backup, there's a simple fix for that. You can get involved with the group. I won't ignore a strangers call for help, but I also won't go to meet someone in the middle of the desert without knowing them. If that situation ever arises, I'll relay messages and call anyone you request, but it's just not safe to meet a stranger remotely.
If we already know each other, it would probably be a good idea if we exchanged secondary phone information. If you need help or want me to relay a message to a spouse, it would be better if I already had that contact information so you don't have to broadcast it a few hundred miles and for any stranger listening.
I have no doubts that any regulars in this group would come to the aid of another. If you'd like to get in on this added level of safety, you're welcome to join us for our upcoming annual cookout next month on Saturday October 19, 2019.
September 12, 2019
We had some great weather earlier in the week and enjoyed it with a light hike and climb. New images have been added to the Azurite Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory. Every time I update that mine listing someone has a problem with it. If you have a problem with it, all I ask is that you read the entire listing before you begin to complain.
The annual cookout event is coming up in a little over a month. Details and directions are in the link.
September 5, 2019
In response to the recent and widely reported mass murders, Walmart has decided to stop selling ammunition after current stock has been sold. Some news outlets are reporting it as they will discontinue large caliber rifle and handgun ammunition. Other news outlets are reporting a complete discontinuation of all ammunition. Additionally, they will apply a "No open carry" policy to all stores.
I do attempt to make this site as apolitical as possible, but if you spend any amount of time listening to a guy talk, it's not difficult to determine their leanings based on given context clues. I'm not mentioning the new Walmart policies to make a political statement. I'm mentioning it because I know many within this regular group are sport and recreational shooters and these new policies may affect them.
I was just at Walmart this morning and the ammunition cases are already becoming sparse. Many of you have probably forgotten about the ammunition shortage a few years before and after 2010. There may be some similar panic buying and hoarding over the next few days, weeks, months, but the supply should still be available. With Walmart being the largest seller of ammunition, there may even be an excess, but do expect prices to go up as retailers take advantage of the panic buying.
August 22, 2019
Our evening trail run of Lovell Canyon Peak Trail was this past Friday night. We've run it a few times during the day. This was our first time running it at night and, as with all trails at night, it was a completely different experience.
It was a great night, but I do wish we stopped more since the company is always the best part of these events for us. It was such a good time, that this trail night turned into a trail weekend ending Sunday afternoon. We spent that day scouting out locations for our cookout coming up soon in October. I think we may have found a good spot.
I've always felt that Goodsprings was this groups home base and have been looking for a suitable location for years. I did think that Ninety Nine Mine cabin would be our permanent cookout spot, but all trails leading up to it have been declining over the years. The trail is still passable for most vehicles in the group, but those in stock and low clearance vehicles would risk vehicle damage or getting stuck.
We're going to return to the Lost Cabin Spring site for this cookout event. Details are in the link. If it works well, it may be our annual cookout spot.
This will be our last scheduled event for the year. We do have more time off in early December, but we may use that time to travel. We may also have short notice events, so check back for those announcements.
August 15, 2019
If case you've missed all of the weekly notices, we do have an evening trail run planned for tomorrow (Friday) night. Details are here. There doesn't appear to be any rain in the forecast, so it should be an easy trail.
After tomorrow night, we don't have a scheduled group event until Saturday, October 19. That will be for our annual cookout. Still not sure where it will be. We're trying to locate a spot that is fairly close, has ample parking, no through traffic, privacy for restrooms, allows campfires, and is shooting safe. If you'd like to attend, the date is set and will not change. I'll post up the location and details when I have them. Hopefully, we'll have that information narrowed down by next weeks update.
August 8, 2019
Here's some good news for you that I forgot to mention. Thanks for the reminder, David. SB316 (Senate Bill 316) was approved and signed into law by our Governor. Please, review the bill for details.
The broad strokes are that it is now considered a criminal "Public Nuisance" to prevent a persons free passage over or through to public land by threat or intimidation or to misrepresent that public land is privately owned or restricted. With easement laws, that has always been the case, but now considering it a criminal "Public Nuisance" is supposed to make it more enforceable.
There is one spot in the Goodsprings/Sandy Valley area that comes to mind. There are a few more places between Nipton and Searchlight that are in violation of the new law. Other than those areas, I'm not really sure the new law will be noticed by us locally. Still, it's good to see more efforts being made to keep these public lands open rather than restricting access.
Several of our bat populations have tested positive for rabies. Just south of the state border on the west side of Clark Mountain and to our north in the Muddy Mountains area. Since the Muddy Mountains are now part of the expanded Wilderness Area, I doubt any of us will be hiking up around there in this heat. Some of us may find themselves in the Clark Mountain area. Expect those instances to spread. Don't lick any bats for a while and especially try to avoid them in those known areas.
We still have that evening event planned for next week on the 16th. Now that we are in the rainy season, those attending should be aware that parts of our planned route can become muddy during and in the days after a good rain. It's along that trail that our tires became caked with mud and we lost all steering and brakes. Back then we even had more aggressive mud terrain tires. If you'll be with us and there has been recent rain, use extreme caution.
August 1, 2019
New images have been added to the Dawn Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Other than someone using it as a campsite and leaving all their garbage, there was nothing new to see over there. We were just in the area and haven't visited in a while.
We took time out of our day to clean up and pack out someone else's garbage. Unless you are homeless, you camp to enjoy the wilderness. After you use them, your containers are empty. It's easier to pack them out. It takes a special kind of asshole to leave your garbage for someone else to remove.
How is everyone getting along with this heat? It seems to be all everyone I meet is talking about. Inevitably, someone always says, "At least it's a dry heat.". I'll agree just to be polite, but inside, I want to slap that guy. If you feel like escaping this heat, our evening trail run event is in just over a couple of weeks on the 16th. Really looking forward to this one. Not just to escape the heat, but because we haven't been on a evening trail run in a while. If you have some fancy light bars, it will be a good time to see if they actually work.
We'll be reaching the trail head just before 9PM. No idea how late we'll be, but most of you will have the weekend off anyway. I had that weekend off, but that time off has been rescinded, so I do have to work the next morning. Not like I sleep much anyway, so we won't be changing the time or date of this event.
If you plan on attending this event, send me an email so we don't leave anyone behind.
July 25, 2019
On Tuesday, we were doing some hiking and climbing up a wash along the base of Potosi Mountain and I forgot how to walk and injured myself. The worst appeared to be my hand and wrist which swelled up almost immediately. My thumb has a large and ugly friction blister across my finger print that I've been draining. The next morning, my back and ankles were very uncomfortable. Hurt, but not injured.
I'm surprised that after all these years in the mountains and the countless times on rope, that's the worst of my injuries. I've even stepped on rattlesnakes and have been lucky each time. I think what happened that day was I was distracted, but after more thought, I can't be sure it's not a balance issue. It's something I need to objectively reassess.
We still have that evening event planned on August 16, 2019. I don't plan on missing it. It's mostly a well-maintained and smooth trail. I think even a slow moving car could clear and complete the trail. Hopefully, we'll see you there. Details are in the link.
July 11, 2019
I apologize for forgetting the site update last week. The only place we've been recently was Argentina Mine to see if there was any earthquake damage. Since it's a fairly deep mine and further south, we thought there would be some significant damage. There was none. There didn't appear to be a single stone out of place. Any pieces that were on the ground had a layer of dust and rat poop that let us know it was an old occurence. Since these recent earthquakes were large, if you do venture underground, use an abundance of caution.
We still have an evening trail event coming up next month. It's a nice ride through Lovell Summit Peak Road which brings us high in elevation and into the tree line. We just ran it recently and it's an easy trail. Any high clearance vehicle can complete it. Details are here.
June 27, 2019
A new event has been scheduled for August 16, 2019. That date is a Friday, but this will be an evening event to escape the heat which will be a great way to end your work week. Our trail will run along Lovell Summit Road which begins about halfway between Vegas and Pahrump. Details for that event can be found on the front page or here. Please, send me an email if you plan on attending.
It happened again! A few times a year, someone sends me an email saying they found something paranormal in one of our image galleries. Rather than rehash the lengthy explanation of these "ghosts", I've already explained the history of these hidden objects here. These hidden objects are scattered within random mine galleries, but if you have no reason or desire to look through random galleries, every event gallery has multiple hidden objects throughout.
We were out recently and came across a guy blasting the bass from his stereo which echoed throughout the valley. Even though he saw others and knew he wasn't alone, he still felt that was acceptable behavior. I guess, to some people, "public land" means they can do whatever they want. People like that will never get it, but it also occurred to us that some people aren't aware of some of the more common rules of trail etiquette. For that reason, a new entry has been added to the Random Articles section about Trail Etiquette.
June 20, 2019
Super busy working and barely have enough time for this update. Pictures from Saturdays trip to Nelson, NV are now up.
June 13, 2019
Last call for Saturdays trip to Nelson, Nevada. Make sure you read the event details for any recent changes. Specifically, our meeting location which has not changed since announced, but is not at our usual meeting spot.
Expect the weather in Nelson this weekend to be in the high 90's / low 100's. Double check that your vehicles cooling system is working properly. We know unexpected things happen, but if your vehicle has known issues or is unreliable, it's best not to risk a break down so far from home.
Hot weather vehicle checklist:
Inspect for tire pressure, cracks, and/or splits
Oil, transmission, power steering, brake, differential, and coolant fluid levels
Inspect coolant hoses for cracks, rot, and loose or broken clamps
Inspect mechanical and electric fans for proper engagement and tension
Inspect water pump for signs of leaking
Our next scheduled event isn't until October when the weather will be much nicer. Between this event and that, we'll likely have another night meeting or two to escape the heat.
June 6, 2019
If you plan on joining us for the Nelson event on the 15th of this month, please send an email. I'm trying to finalize a route and knowing the amount of vehicles and types will help better decide that route.
New images have been added to the Chiquita Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory. We were just wandering in the area and stopped to see what was new. Like most things in the area, the trail is much worse after the rainy season, but is otherwise the same.
May 30, 2019
Pictures from Saturday's day around Potosi Mountain are now available and in the Completed Events directory. If you missed this one, it wasn't one of our regularly scheduled events and only posted with a couple days advanced notice. Sorry about the short notice, but I didn't connect Memorial Day with my regular days off.
Several of you have mentioned that my emails have been marked by your email servers as junk and filtered to your junk folders or blocked and deleted entirely. This site does not and has never sold anything. My email signature does not contain links or a phone number, so I'm not entirely certain what some email servers interpret as junk.
It's possible that just having an address that is not the typical; gmail, hotmail, outlook type address is enough to block it from email servers. In that instance, the only option is to whitelist my email address. A "whitelist" is a list of trusted sites or email addresses that are known to be safe. Adding my "@VegasUnderworld" email address to your whitelist should allow you to receive my emails.
The process to add to your email whitelist varies from email server to server, but the process is similar within your email settings. The whitelisting process for the more common email servers can be found here.
You may have noticed on the sites front page that the December Cookout event has been suspended. We will likely use that scheduled time off to travel out of state. There's a good chance we won't be using all of that time off and can still meet up for something, but I feel it would be better to just reschedule the cookout to the previously scheduled event on Saturday October 19, 2019. A location for that Cookout event has not been finalized. If anyone knows of a good, fairly local spot for a cookout, please send me the details.
May 23, 2019
Because of extreme recent rains, the wash entry leading to those mines has deepened and narrowed making it impassable to most vehicles without risk of tire or body damage. Even if you've safely passed into that valley just last year, you'll probably want to get out and walk it first to be sure.
Had I known Monday was Memorial Day, I would have arranged something. Sorry for the short notice, but if you have this coming Monday off and feel like getting out and wandering around the mountains, send an email.
May 16, 2019
In 2007, the BLM initiated a feasibility study and proposed amendments to the RMP (Resource Management Plan) which would affect; recreation, resource, and land use. For almost 10 years, numerous studies and expert analysis was used to create and propose 3 possible outcomes to the RMP. Those RMP changes to public land use would range from zero acres to in excess of 1-million acres.
In early 2017, a comment period to send email and a series of public meetings were held for the public to voice their opinions and concerns. More than a few of the public meetings were announced or changed with short notice. Some were held mid-week and mid-day with short notice. I know the email I sent wasn't even opened or read. Whether those short notice changes were intentional or not, many felt a decision was already made and the public hearings were irrelevant. I don't believe anyone thought no changes to the RMP was ever an option.
I was guessing that the result would be somewhere around half of the maximum. So, around 500,000 acres would be affected. Since we use these trails recreationally, it was my guess that many trails within that 500,000 acres would be closed to OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) traffic. With the exception of new hiking or equestrian trails, we aren't seeing any new OHV trails being created, so that would potentially be a significant loss of public access.
Tomorrow (Friday), an official "Notice of Termination" will be entered into the Federal Registry. That means that the RMP that first began over a decade ago is now a dead program. No mass changes to our public lands is coming. Any future changes made to local public lands will be decided case by case and by the local offices. If you've headed south on I-15, you may have noticed the land clearing on the right between Jean and Primm for the Nevada Solar Project. That land was set aside as part of the RMP. That project is dead too.
How you feel about this decision will depend on your perspective. I'm just happy these trails will still be available to explore.
May 9, 2019
This past Tuesday, we had our first dinner as a group that was not out in the mountains somewhere. It was good to see everyone and socialize between the outdoor events. I think it's something we should do more often. No pictures were taken at this dinner. I think most have seen the inside of a Denny's before anyway.
It was also suggested and decided that our event next month will be to Nelson, Nevada. It seemed like a great idea over dinner, but after a little thought, Nelson in June is brutal. Expect the high temperature for that day to hover around 100 degrees. Still, a decision was made and, unless another group decision is made to change plans, that's where we're headed next month. A good portion of this trail will be in first gear, in sand, and uphill which can really test a vehicles endurance. Make sure your vehicles cooling and air conditioning system is working well.
I'm aware that some images have disappeared from galleries. I'm not sure what happened, but I've been slowly rebuilding the image database beginning with the Completed Events Directory. This site has a lot of images and galleries. Rebuilding all of them will take some time, so please be patient.
May 2, 2019
More excuses for the lack of updates: We haven't been anywhere interesting lately, I've been super busy, and I've been super lazy. We do have something planned for next week. Nothing outdoors. Just meeting for dinner at a restaurant on Tuesday the 7th. If you've been to a recent event, you should have received an email. If you haven't been to one recently or at all and would still like to meet up for dinner and meet everyone, send me an email and I'll return one with details.
April 11, 2019
April 4, 2019
Ok, so the plan was to take my time swapping over the parts from the old Jeep to the new(er) Jeep. The wife was telling me that being in a stock Jeep would force me to focus on my off-road driving and slow down. Since slowing down was not a serious option, I went ahead and swapped the entire suspension over, but took my time. 1st day, I tore down the rear suspension. 2nd day, I installed it on the new Jeep. 3rd day, tore down the front suspension. 4th day installed front suspension.
My plan today was to get electronics, including the amateur radio swapped over. I started on it, but ran out of energy to finish the job. Maybe I'll get around to that before Saturday, but it's not looking like it. Rather than drill holes in the trim like I did with the previous Jeep, I'm working on building some proper brackets. Since I got the amateur radio, it's always been on the stereo has been on less than less, until finally, not at all. Driving around without any background noise takes some getting used to.
Final notice for Bittier Springs Trail this coming Saturday April 6, 2019. It's probably been a few months since we've been off-road and we really need this day. Details are in the link. See everyone there.
March 28, 2018
You guys would not believe all the trouble the Jeep has been giving me this year. Having a quick look back, I don't think a month has gone by in a very long time that something didn't break. It got to the point that I lost so much confidence in its reliability that I stopped going to the mountains or just leave it running the whole time out there because I was afraid it wouldn't restart.
I just replaced the entire suspension again in December and since then, I've replaced the PCM twice and every sensor. By "every sensor" I mean just that. I think we've put close to or over $3000 in parts into it the last few months and it's still not running right. At this point, the diagnostic trouble codes are so random, I think the problem is electrical and likely a bad wiring harness. Even if it did run the way I need it to run, there's still that confidence issue. I don't know that I'll ever regain confidence in it.
So, what do I do with a busted vehicle with that much time and money invested into a repair? I wouldn't feel right selling it to someone. Even with full disclosure I don't want to be that guy who sells a vehicle to someone knowing I don't even trust it. I could trade it in for less than I just spent in parts or I could sell it to a salvage yard for even less.
Here's what I did instead. I bought the exact same year and model Jeep. Everything is the same except it's a different color and it has 100,000 miles less than the old one. Now, the plan is to just park the old one in the back yard, turn in the plates, and cancel the insurance. I'll swap the tires, wheels, and suspension over to the new Jeep soon. Then I'll just pick parts from it as needed. I'd like to do the suspension swap soon, but I think I'll take my time and not rush.
We still have that Bitter Springs Trail run coming up on Saturday, the 6th of April. It's not a difficult trail, so I think we'll be fine in a stock Jeep. It should be a good reminder to focus on the trail. As usual, we don't have an attendee head count and won't know until we arrive. We won't have too many of these nice days left. We hope to see you there.
March 14, 2019
It always seems like I'm apologizing for something here. Sorry for not having a real update in a while. Just when I thought I got all my Jeep issues sorted, something else goes wrong. I've done as much as I can and have replaced every part that can possibly be related to my issue. At this point, I believe my issue has to be a wiring issue. I have neither the skills or patience to chase down that problem and have delivered it to the pros to figure out.
The Jeep works, but not well enough for me to have confidence in it off-road which is why I haven't had any good content to share lately. If anyone has anything they'd like to share, I don't mind adding it to the site.
We still have that Bitter Springs Trail event coming up on Saturday April 6. I'd like to have the Jeep running at least a week without issues before we attempt a long trail like that, but no matter what, that event will continue as scheduled. We still have dates beyond that scheduled, but no destinations. If you'd like to suggest a destination for a future event, please send it my way.
February 21, 2019
Once again, I have to apologize for the short notice for Saturdays event. I know many in this town don't have regular weekends off and a week isn't enough time for many to prepare and it showed in attendance. It was a small group, but I do tend to enjoy the smaller, more personal events more. I've posted up event dates for all of 2019 on the main page. We'll probably toss in some night events in the summer months that aren't listed. Hopefully, we'll all get to spend a little more time with each other this year.
Many of you have been with this site since the beginning. Those of you will remember when we had an active forum. Unfortunately, because of software changes and the costs associated, the forum had to go away.
If you have an excess of time, reading these should get your caught up on personalities:
The forum is the feature of this site I miss most. Recently, longtime friend of the site, Ken, asked for an update of our old forum buddies. I've kept in contact with most and here's the latest:
Carolinda was as sweet a person as you'd ever meet, but did have a reputation as being the "Earthy" type. She now lives in Phoenix closer to family. Now that her sons are older and need her less, she's restarted a career with a non-profit health organization. After more reliable research, all of her children are now fully vaccinated.
Denise and Blake now live in San Diego where Blake is an instructor for one of the countries largest defense contractors. He's been missing the excitement of war and has wanted to return over the years, but they've since welcomed a daughter. They've decided that his family needs him more and he's agreed to stay local. He now trains returning Veterans in new careers in Executive Protection.
Molly is one who's gone missing. It's been about a year since I've last heard from her. Last I knew, she purchased some land in Alaska and was working as a contractor for a few resource companies in Alaska and Canada. She also mentioned briefly that she was considering contracting for a Chinese mining company. If she contracted for a Chinese company, she could be anywhere in the world. I have to admit, and I think many will, that I was a little jealous of her wandering lifestyle. I know friends often lose contact with distance and my hope is she's just on one of her extended adventures.
Morgan has it in her head that Molly was either eaten by a bear or married one. She's even made up a back-story that her bear husband is the jealous type that reads her emails and texts and won't her talk to guys. Morgan is still living in Maryland, but spending some of her work month in Mississippi. She can't decide which she hates more. Since moving to Maryland, her car was stolen and recovered once. Her bike and her replacement bikes were stolen. Her apartment was broken into and lost everything including clothes. She didn't have renters insurance and had to start all over. She now lives in a gated community where she thought she would be safer, but now lives next door to a registered sex offender.
I'm sure I've made the announcement that our friend Dozer Dave passed a few years ago. His wife and daughters are well. His eldest daughter is now a Sophomore at UNLV and is studying to be a Chemist. Keeping with her family tradition of mining, she hopes to use her education in the lithium mining sector.
I always felt like Andy was a pet of the group. Like an angry stray dog. You know you shouldn't feed it, but you do and it stays. It's still an angry dog, but loyal to you. His first introduction to this group was threatening the life of another forum member (Subaru Stanley) which lead to a friendship with Blake, a reconnection with fellow Veterans, a job working for Dozer Dave, and a career in mining with the help of Molly. Andy is in his late 20's and recently married a woman in her late 50's. When he told me about his marriage, I joked that she's old enough to be his mother and he says, "She's old enough to be my mom, but she is yours.".
Those are all of the updates of those lost after the closing of the forum. I'm sure I'm missing some, but I'll have to review emails. If I come across more updates, I'll be sure to share them. If you were part of the group and would like to share your own updates, feel free to email and I'll pass along any words you'd like to share.
Almost forgot this. We had an event to Lucy Grey on Saturday. Pictures are here.
February 16, 2019
Very late last minute call for today's Lucy Grey event. If you want to join us, you better leave soon. We depart at 9:00 AM. Details are here.
February 14, 2019
Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Hopefully, everyone has someone they want to spend the day with. Like most holidays, this is just another day for us. We're probably both working late again, so we don't even have dinner plans and will just wing it like most nights.
We do have another event coming up this weekend. We're headed to Lucy Grey Mine just north of the California border. If there is an interest and time permitting, you can stop to shoot along our return route. Since this will be a long trail in and out, it's doubtful many will want to make another stop once we begin the long trail home and shooting will not be part of our scheduled stops. If you still feel like shooting, please wait until we're well north of the border. Keep in mind that we will briefly cross into California and California firearm transportation laws apply. Details on the event can be found here.
I already know that quite a few regulars won't be able to meet this time because of short notice or prior engagements. Short notice seems to be the most common reason people can't attend these events and that's mostly my fault. To help make planning these events a little easier, I've posted up most of the event dates through to the end of the year on the main page. In addition to the event planned this coming Saturday, the following dates have been confirmed:
April 6, 2019. Saturday. Bitter Springs Trail.
June 15, 2019. Saturday. Date confirmed, but no destination.
December 7, 2019. Saturday. Date confirmed, but no destination.
We'll likely throw in some evening events when it's too hot to be out during the day. The next event scheduled on April 6, 2019 has been finalized for Bitter Springs Trail. A 30 mile long scenic trail with opportunities for mineral collection. Specifically, Pink Agate. No other destinations are confirmed, so if there's anywhere you'd like to suggest or revisit, please send an email. Also, if anyone else would like to lead a day out, I have no problem following.
February 7, 2019
We have an event scheduled on Saturday February 16, 2019. Emails have been sent to all regulars and those with email contact within the last few months. If you feel you should have received this email, please check your SPAM folder. Our destination is Lucy Grey Mine just north of the California/Nevada border. A large portion of the trail is through a wash with difficulty varying by the amount of rain received. This has been an unusually rainy season and we expect the trail to be less than comfortable and possibly technical. Details are here.
It has been confirmed that land owners and mine claim holders have been notified to make abandoned mines "safe". The mines closest to the Goodsprings Trail project were sealed over a year ago, so we were hoping only those mines closest to the trail project will be affected, but that does not appear to be so.
Hoodoo Mine is on public land over 10 miles away and we found it to be recently closed. It's unlikely that this closure is in response to the Goodsprings Trail Project and just part of the Abandoned Mine Lands closure directive and budget. Sooner or later, they'll all be made "safe", so see them while you can. New images have been added to the Hoodoo Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory.
January 31, 2019
The images from Friday nights event are now up and have also been added to the completed events directory. Sorry a few of you were unaware of Fridays event. Notice was short, but I posted up details as soon as they were confirmed. Emails were sent to everyone who has attended an event in the last year and everyone who's been in email contact with me in the last six months. If that describes you and you didn't receive an email, check your email spam filters. If set too high, some email hosts will reject emails that do not originate from the common email clients like: gmail, hotmail, and AOL.
Currently, we have no new events scheduled.
January 24, 2019
We'll be meeting in the mountains tomorrow (Friday) night. If you'd like to join us, all are welcome. Details are here. The meeting spot was a surface mine operation. There will be no underground opportunities. This is strictly a social event. We'll have a table set up for snacks. Please, bring something to add to the table and bring your own chairs.
If you have any spare lumber you'd like to add to the fire, feel free to bring it but keep in mind we can't leave until the fire is completely out. We were out there earlier this week and gathered wood on site. There should be enough to supply a modest fire for a few hours. The temperature Friday night is expected to be in the mid-30's with 7 MPH winds, so maybe we need a little more.
January 17, 2019
An explanation of last weeks update: I didn't have anything to add and was going to skip the update. Russ sent an email reminding me to give a site update, so I posted; "Russ is the only one who reads this.". Then, I received a few more emails and texts from others reminding me they also look for updates. As I received those contacts, I added more names.
A new hiking, bicycle, and equestrian trail project has begun directly to the Northwest and Southeast of Goodspring, Nevada. The source literature makes no mention of OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) traffic, so I'm uncertain if that means the trails will remain open to OHV travel or if the designation as "hiking, bicycle, and equestrian" will exclude motor vehicles as we've seen along trails to the North along Cottonwood Pass. You can find a PDF link to the most recent project report here. A map of the affected area and proposed trail routes can be found on page 9 of that document.
If the project adheres to the proposed map, most of us won't notice changes unless they restrict access to the trails. Mines in the proposed area were backfilled years ago. The only open mine nearby is the Middlesex Mine, but access to that valley is limited to customers of Shoot Las Vegas.
We have an evening social event scheduled on Friday, January 25th. Details are here.
January 10, 2019
Russ (and Ken, Mike, Chris, Jeremy, Arnold, Dana, Ben, Caleb, Paul, Roger, Mohammed, Tracy) are the only the ones who read this.
January 3, 2019
Our Jeep is now healthy again. It's looking like it had multiple problems. Each repair made some improvements, but after replacing the Power Control Module, everything came together again. We regained some lost power and about 3-4 miles per gallon. Now the only known issue with the Jeep is the Tire Pressure Monitor light and a small hole I found in the muffler. When I changed wheels, I never added TPM sensors, so that light will forever be on and small muffler hole is an easy repair. Next time we meet up, will someone please remind me to fix that hole? I'm sure I'll keep ignoring it.
With as many issues as we've been having with the Jeep, we probably should have waited to get offroad until we were sure all the bugs were fixed, but we got out the very next day. Not the safest or smartest thing to do, but we were tired of being stuck in town. Entertainment Capital of the World and we were bored. We stayed fairly close and made sure we were well within cell and radio service along Cottonwood Pass.
New images have been added to the Ninety Nine Mine and Cabin gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory. A few months ago when these Jeep issues began, that's where we were headed, but never reached it. Not the smartest way or place to test a vehicle, but even though months have passed, that route still felt incomplete. The trail there is so much worse than it was just a few months ago. If you enjoy an uncomfortable trail, head on over. Otherwise, you may want to wait a few months for the trail to naturally settle.
I'm also looking ahead and trying to narrow down some dates for 2019 events and possibly an overnight camping trip. If any of you have any date requests or would like to go, but have date restrictions, please email them and we'll try to work around everyone's schedule if we can. Happy New Year, everyone!